Keep Holding On
Noelle's main goal is to survive high school. Her survival plan involves keeping quiet, keeping to herself, and doing everything possible to avoid giving the Popular Elite any more ammunition for bullying her. But staying quiet and trying to be invisible can only work so long before things must be faced, brought into the open, and dealt with.
Keep Holding On is a quick read - it's not very long, and it's a compelling story. I wanted to find out what happened next. But it's also a rough read - there are some serious, heavy issues being handled here, and they made my heart hurt. Bullying is a serious concern, as are teenagers - just big kids, really - struggling to make it essentially on their own. Noelle's had a hard life, made harder by her issues at school dealing with the pressure - bullying - of the popular kids (some of whom used to be her friends, before things changed). Colasanti has written an amazing story, in that even as it's tearing my heart to pieces, she's created a character that truly grows and evolves over the course of the story. In the beginning, I sort of wanted to shake Noelle awake (just being honest). Even though her situation was horrible, I felt like she was focusing more on the "poor me"-aspect of life rather than doing anything to try and make progress towards her dreams/escape/better life. But as things spiraled out of control, she did actually wake up and I was able to cheer for her as she began to blossom and grow.
A moving story, and one that definitely needs to be available to teens. This is real-life stuff, and maybe Noelle's fictional journey will help real teenagers wake up and take their own steps forward, out of the shadows.
Book provided by my local library.